USC stays unbeaten with thrilling draw
A valiant effort from the USC women’s soccer team came up just short of victory on Sunday night, as the team settled for a 1-1 draw against the University of San Diego Toreros in San Diego. The overtime result, which came on the heels of Friday’s 1-0 win over Long Beach State, leaves the team unbeaten through its first two games for the third consecutive year.Strike a pose · Junior striker Megan Borman netted her first goal of the season in Sunday’s draw at San Diego. Borman has four career scores. — Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan USC’s only scorer was junior forward Megan Borman, who picked up her fourth career goal in the 24th minute. Her squad’s lead would not last long, however, as the Toreros’ Rachel Conners equalized just eight minutes later. Both teams created multiple scoring chances through the rest of regulation and into two tense extra periods, but no one was able to find the back of the net.Even with a second straight victory so close, USC’s first-year head coach Keidane McAlpine was pleased with his team.“I thought we played much better,” McAlpine told USC Trojans. “The team played with great energy and created excellent chances.”The first of those chances came in just the 16th minute, when junior forward Katie Johnson was able to get a shot off within USD’s penalty area. The Torero defense deflected the shot and snuffed out USC’s scoring opportunity, which went on to become a theme of the match. The Women of Troy finished play with 13 shots, including eight in the game’s final 65 minutes, compared to just six shots for their opponents.The Toreros’ one defensive breakdown started with a run from USC junior midfielder Reilly Parker, whose cross from the left end line found Johnson in the box. When Johnson’s attempt was once again blocked, Borman was able to find the ball and sneak it past USD goalkeeper Michelle Craft.The Women of Troy nearly doubled their lead in the 29th minute, as a terrific corner kick from junior midfielder Jamie Fink made its way to the seemingly magnetic Borman. Once again, however, Craft was too tough to beat and the match remained 1-0.That score held for another three minutes, when Conners delivered a beautiful long-distance strike to the top corner of the USC goal. Senior goalkeeper Caroline Stanley, who has delivered clean sheets in five of six periods on the year, could do little to stop the shot.The Women of Troy’s last chance to retake the lead in the first half came from another top-notch Fink corner in the 41st minute, but Craft was able to get her hands on freshman midfielder Nicole Molen’s headed effort.USC continued to move the ball well in the second half, and once again found itself in position to take the lead. Borman’s rebound shot from a Parker corner in the 54th minute went wide of the net, followed quickly by a shot on goal from sophomore forward Savannah Levin that Craft was able to save. Minutes later, Craft acrobatically tipped a brilliant long-distance shot from Borman over the crossbar.In perhaps the Women of Troy’s best second-half opportunity to take the lead, a 90th-minute corner kick from Parker connected with a leaping Borman. Her header, one of a team-leading six total shots in the match, struck the crossbar and bounced harmlessly away.The first sudden-death overtime period brought no golden goal, nor any offensive opportunities. USC’s lone shot came from Parker but went wide, and a stout defense held the Toreros to a single shot as well.The second overtime turned out similarly, with both teams worn out from three periods of high-energy play. The Women of Troy’s defense buckled without breaking, withstanding several corner kicks from a resilient Torero attack. USC’s lone shot of the final period, from freshman forward Sydney Johnson, was corraled wide of the net.With so many missed opportunities, McAlpine could have been frustrated, but he recognized the toughness of the Torero defense.“You have to give San Diego a lot of credit,” McAlpine told USC Trojans. “They brought a lot of energy to the game. However, I thought we did enough to win.”The squad’s next opportunity for a win will come at the Notre Dame Adidas Invitational in South Bend, Indiana this weekend, where it will match up with host Notre Dame and Iowa State. The Women of Troy will then return home to McAlister Field for their first home game of the season against UC Riverside next Friday.